Faced with the Omicron surge, Macron will hold a health defense council on Monday

The wave continues to gain momentum. A few hours before Christmas Eve, the Covid-19 is once again playing the spoiler. A dazzling Omicron variant and the record number of contaminations are pushing the government to speed up its response. Emmanuel Macron will hold a health defense council on Monday afternoon, just before the Council of Ministers which must adopt the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass, announced the Elysee.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Wednesday that a « reassessment of the health situation » was scheduled for that date, while the arrival of Omicron panics contamination figures across Europe. Friday, more than 94,000 new cases were recorded over the last 24 hours, unheard of in France since the start of the health crisis.

Contaminations could wait 200,000 cases per day

« The realistic scenario is that in mid-January we will be at 200,000 contaminations a day, » infectious disease specialist Benjamin Davido estimated on CNews on Friday. Before reuniting with their loved ones for Christmas, the French have tested themselves massively in recent days. The SI-DEP platform allowing healthcare professionals to enter the results of antigenic tests to generate a QR code has consequently been blocked. It was « very complicated to declare » results on Friday afternoon, Philippe Gaertner of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France (FSPF), Philippe Gaertner told AFP.

Recognizing « slowdowns » on the platform due to a « massive influx » of tests, the Ministry of Health nevertheless assured that it had « always been maintained » and that « the answers are coming as they go. »

Having started with a bang for several weeks, the epidemic has now taken the face of the Omicron variant. The government expects it to become the majority in the country soon, between Christmas and New Year’s Day. If several studies show that the effectiveness of vaccines is markedly reduced with only two doses against this variant, a booster dose would make it possible to increase the level of protection. The High Authority for Health (HAS) thus recommended Friday that the booster dose can be performed from three months for the eligible population.

Risk of paralysis

While waiting to examine this opinion, the Ministry of Health has announced that the deadline will be reduced to 4 months from now and not from January 3 as initially planned. Until then it was 5 months after the previous injection. With this passage to 4 months, 40 million people are eligible for their booster dose, 22 million of whom have already done so, the ministry said.

In its opinion, the Haute Autorité de santé is also now recommending the administration of a booster dose in 12-17 year olds suffering from immunodeficiency or a serious risk comorbidity.

While Omicron is not causing a wave of hospitalizations for the moment, its potential repercussions are worrying. With the risk, mentioned Thursday by the Scientific Council, of a paralysis of the company because of an increase in work stoppages and « absenteeism ». « If you are evicting (all positive cases and contact cases) in the school system, the police, the hospital, (the company) will be at a standstill », warned Gilles Pialoux, head of the service on Friday. infectious diseases of Tenon hospital on Webrema. The Minister of Health Olivier Véran indicated Thursday that the government would take care to « avoid any phenomenon of paralysis in the country ».

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